The Anti-Airport Lounge

Cathay Pacific and Ilse Crawford want to make layovers relaxing.

Cathay Pacific’s new airport lounges are designed to calm the loopy circadian rhythms and general malaise that set in between flights. Around the world, the airline’s collaboration with the London-based designer Ilse Crawford has brightened the prospect of the layover. “We want people to feel at home and looked after,” says Crawford, whose firm StudioIlse unveiled the first edition at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in 2014 and went on to realize others in Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, and Taipei. Last spring, the design landed in North America by way of Vancouver, where the blueprint of soft lighting, live plants, and warm wood walls is coupled with views of the distant coastal mountains. The latest, at Heathrow’s Terminal 3, features rooms wrapped in natural cherry wood, arrangements of Crawford-designed Solo chairs as well as classic Womb chairs, and work by Chinese artist Han Feng. At the Noodle Bar, diners can slurp bowls of dan dan, noodles in a spicy peanut soup, at a counter lined with jade-green tile. Thoughtful touches such as ergonomic charging stations and walk-in rain showers stocked with Aesop products could appease the most bleary-eyed traveler. Just don’t miss that connection.

(Photo Courtesy Cathay Pacific)

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